Some of you may or may not know, but I have been sitting on this project for several months now. My friend Kyle of SuperImage, Ltd. asked me to compose the original soundtrack for his senior project film, Sara. Of course I said yes; I am a huge fan of Kyle’s film/photography work and I wanted to be a part of it.
Due to some creative differences (and a healthy dose of anxiety), I stepped back a little on the project. Kyle won’t be using my work for it anymore. But I would still recommend watching it when it’s out! The film is amazing.
However, I asked Kyle if I could release the work I put in as a “tribute” album to the film, and he said yes. So, here it is, in its abandoned glory. Exactly on brand.
Some Backstory on “Melatonin”
Back in 2017, I wanted to release a counter-EP to Paper Lungs titled “ily but wtf”. That was obviously never released as a package, but I slipped out a couple of songs from it as singles, namely Throughout the Storm and Nadir. The opening piece of that potential EP was a track titled Melatonin.
Kyle suggested we film music videos for the entire EP, so we got to work! Unfortunately, the project was also abandoned after we filmed some shots for Melatonin. Something about my boyfriend (of the time) not wanting me to spend time with my friends.
I thought that including Melatonin (2017) at the end of the Sara tribute album would be a fulfilling kind of closure to both projects. As well as giving it its name.
The Work in Progress
This was my first time attempting to write music to support another element (the film). It was a lot harder than I anticipated. Usually when I write music, I just write whatever feels like should come next. But for this soundtrack, I had to try to intentionally write sections that would emphasize or complement scenes. It felt like a lot of pressure.
I took a couple of different approaches for this. First, I watched the scene in its entirety, with some temporary music Kyle inserted that gave a general feeling of what he was trying to convey. Spoiler: it was a lot of Atticus Rose and Philip Glass.
Ableton has a really cool feature where you can play video along with your track, so I tried that as well. Eventually, the files got so large that it slowed down my laptop to the point where I felt unmotivated to work on the projects anymore.
Eventually, we all gathered at the downtown theater to watch its first screening. It was inspiring, but also a bit daunting. It felt as if neither Kyle nor myself felt my compositions were quite up to par with the rest of the film. A few months of rearranging and stressing out over it, I told Kyle I didn’t feel ready, but that he could use anything from the album he felt he could salvage.
Melatonin Release Assets
I felt a little trapped while I was sitting on this album. Whenever I had motivation to work on something else, I felt guilty that I wasn’t working on Sara. This release is kind of a breather for me, so that I can move on. While I enjoyed working on it, it definitely stressed me out. That’s not what I want from music.
Up next, I think I have a Billie Eilish cover release with Oksami, and another personal release (in a similar style to Settling). Also, my band has rebranded! 4AM is now Manifold Home, and you can definitely look forward to hearing from us soon.